Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) lost to Gujarat in their debut game of the Indian T20 League. Mohammad Shami won the Player of the Match for his bowling figures of 3 for 25 in 4 overs. As far as the fantasy team is concerned, Hooda was the captain of the Ultimate Team on My11Circle for providing fantasy points with both bat and ball.

Gujarat opted to bowl first, citing the dew factor at the Wankhede Stadium. The decision worked in their favour in more ways than one. Mohammad Shami bowled an absolute jaffa to KL Rahul, inducing an outside edge off the first ball of the game. Two overs later, Shami angled one in and pierced through the defence of Quinton de Kock. That was not all, though. LSG lost two more wickets – Evin Lewis and Manish Pandey – in the powerplay, finding themselves in a precarious position at 29 for 4.

Lucky were LSG that Hooda (55 off 41) came to their rescue. Despite being in trouble, he launched an onslaught and put Gujarat on the backfoot. It influenced Ayush Badoni (54 off 41) at the other end, and together they added 87 runs for the fifth wicket. Late blows from Krunal Pandya pushed the total to 158 for 6 in 20 overs.

As was the case with LSG, Gujarat lost their opener in the first over: Shubman Gill mistimed an away delivery from Dushmantha Chameera straight to point. The Sri Lankan pacer then darted in a toe-crushing yorker to Vijay Shankar and uprooted the stumps, reducing Gujarat to 15 for 2.

In came Hardik Pandya and steadied the ship with Matthew Wade, stitching up 57 runs for the third wicket before Krunal outfoxed his brother Hardik with a tossed-up delivery. The fall of wicket motivated Rahul to give the ball to the part-timer Hooda: the ploy worked and Wade walked back for 30 off 29.

The match seemed to be in the favour of Lucknow, as Gujarat needed 81 runs from 49 balls. However, Rahul’s plan to continue with Hooda backfired. David Miller and Rahul Tewatia blasted 22 runs in the 16th over and changed the complexion of the game, giving bonus fantasy points with their strike rate and sixes.

The match went down to the wire. Gujarat needed 11 off 6. At the crease was the newcomer Abhinav Manohar. He collected consecutive boundaries off Avesh Khan and secured the game. Rahul Tewatia then finished things off in style with a drive over covers, helping Gujarat emerge victorious with two balls to spare.

Brief Scorecard:

Lucknow Super Giants 158/6 overs (Deepak Hooda 55, Ayush Badoni 54, Dushmantha Chameera 2 for 25) lose to Gujarat 161/5 in 19.4 overs (Rahul Tewatia 40, Hardik Pandya 33, Mohammad Shami 3 for 25) by 5 wickets.


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